The Danish Twin Registry: An Updated Overview

Twin Res Hum Genet. 2019 Dec;22(6):499-507. doi: 10.1017/thg.2019.72. Epub 2019 Sep 23.


The Danish Twin Registry (DTR) was established in the 1950s, when twins born from 1870 to 1910 were ascertained, and has since been extended to include twins from birth cohorts until 2009. The DTR currently comprises of more than 175,000 twins from the 140 birth cohorts. This makes the DTR the oldest nationwide twin register and among the largest in the world. The combination of data from several surveys, including biological samples and repeated measurements on the same individuals, and data from Danish national registers provides a unique resource for a wide range of twin studies. This article provides an updated overview of the data in the DTR: First, we provide a summary of the establishment of the register, the different ascertainment methods and the twins included; then follows an overview of major surveys conducted in the DTR since 1994 and a description of the DTR biobank, including a description of the molecular data created so far; finally, a short description is given of the linkage to Danish national registers at Statistics Denmark and some recent examples of studies using the various data resources in the DTR are highlighted.

Keywords: Denmark; Twin register; biobank; molecular; register-based research; surveys.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Biomedical Research
  • Child
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Diseases in Twins / epidemiology*
  • Diseases in Twins / genetics
  • Diseases in Twins / pathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Twins, Dizygotic / genetics
  • Twins, Dizygotic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Twins, Monozygotic / genetics
  • Twins, Monozygotic / statistics & numerical data*